Feb 4th: What’s Up Tonight! Southern Skies February 2015 Edition

By on February 4, 2015 in
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Podcaster: Alice Enevoldsen aka Alice’s AstroInfo

Alices-Astro-InfoTitle: What’s Up Tonight! Southern Skies February 2015 Edition

Organization: Alice’s AstroInfo

Link : www.alicesastroinfo.com
Heavens-Above Starcharts for anywhere, anytime, not installation required
Stellarium Free planetarium-style program for your computer or tablet
7Timer – Clear sky charts (will it be clear enough for stargazing?). Input your location, then click on “ASTRO” in the pop-up.

Description: Presented as a counterpart to Awesome Astronomy’s Northern Hemisphere monthly forecast, Alice talks about what’s visible from the Southern Hemisphere. Focused at about 33°S, this forecast should work for anywhere between 25°S and 50°S

Bio: Alice Enevoldsen currently volunteers as one of NASA’s Solar System Ambassadors. She has been working in planetariums since 1996, has a B.A. in Astronomy-Geology from Whitman College, and a Masters in Teaching from Seattle University. Her fascination with the stars led her to try her hand at astronomy research in Boston and Walla Walla, where she realized that her calling in life was actually to work in outreach and be a translator for scientists. Now she works hard to share her love of the stars and excitement about astronomy with as many people as possible.

Today’s sponsor: This episode of “365 Days of Astronomy” is sponsored by — no one. We still need sponsors for many days in 2015, so please consider sponsoring a day or two. Just click on the “Donate” button on the lower left side of this webpage, or contact us at signup@365daysofastronomy.org.

Transcript:

Hello, I’m Alice Enevoldsen, coming to you not-so-live from Alice’s AstroInfo with a podcast about what’s up in the February 2015 skies … over the Southern Hemisphere.

How are you today? Are you lasting through the heat, or is it cool enough where you are? We’re having odd weather where I am, but anyway, on to astronomy: did you get a chance to look for Asteroid 2004 BL86 last week? It was a tough target, we were able to see it from the city with an 8-inch scope… pretty much at the edge of visibility.

So, some Notable Sky Objects and Events in February.

Be sure to take your sweetheart or crush out for some nice summer stargazing on Valentine’s Day on the 14th. With the help of this podcast you’ll be able to easily point out Venus (named for the Goddess of Love, don’t forget), Jupiter, and Orion’s belt (hint: the belt is those three stars in a row directly overhead at sunset).

Also on February 14th, the ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft will be swooping in on Comet 67P to almost kiss the surface, sweeping past at just 6km above the surface. (I’ll embarrass myself here by attempting to pronounce the actual comet name: Churyumov-Gerasimenko). Oof. Russian is not among the languages I have learned yet.

The most beautiful moment this month will be later: on February 20th there’s going to be a striking conjunction of the Moon, Mars, and Venus, and the very next night on February 21st Mars and Venus will be even closer. It’s possible you’ll even need binoculars to separate the two due to Venus’s brightness.

Less notable than the conjunction, but still qualifying as “Hey, what’s that?”: we have Jupiter!

Although Venus will be visible all month in the West just after sunset, Jupiter is our main attraction for “Hey, what’s that?” glittering overnight every night between Cancer and Leo, starting in the Northeast and eventually setting in the Northwest.

We’ll also have Saturn rising in the Southeast as Orion sets in the West. Like I said, it’s a month for planets. You’ll even have a chance at Mercury right before sunrise late in the month.

Virgo, Lupus, and little Leo Minor join the lineup of Evening Constellations. As the nights are lengthening we’ll have more time for stargazing this month, but it isn’t until later in the year that we get very many new evening constellations.

Those of you with Telescopes, beyond the things that are circumpolar, I’d be looking at the Beehive Cluster in Cancer.

Moving on, a quick overview of the upcoming Moon Phases:

The last full moon was on February 3rd or 4th. It rises around sunset, and sets around sunrise. The next full moon is on March 5th.

The last quarter moon is February 11th or 12th. For the week around the last quarter moon it is visible in the early morning sky.

The day of the new moon, February 18th or 19th, you won’t see the Moon at all, but a day before or after you might see a tiny sliver of a crescent Moon as the Sun rises or sets, and a few days outside of that the Moon will be up all day.

The first quarter moon, February 25th, is ideal for late afternoon and early evening observation.

Well! Thanks for tuning in: I hope I gave you some things for which to keep your eyes peeled.

For those of you who haven’t listened before I’m here as a foil for Ralph and Paul with Awesome Astronomy and their monthly 365 Days of Astronomy, International Year of Light podcast about what’s up in the skies over the Northern Hemisphere.

This podcast is based at 33°S, so it should be good anywhere from about 25°S to 50°S. This will include major cities in Australia, New Zealand, and southern Africa, as well as the parts of South America south of Paraguay

I’ll add some of my favorite planning links to the end of the transcript for you as usual. If you have suggestions, things that you’d like me to add to the “What’s up Tonight, Southern Skies Edition,” please leave them in the comments!

Once again, I’m Alice Enevoldsen. You can find me online as AlicesAstroInfo on Twitter, Facebook, and www.alicesastroinfo.com.

Bye! See you later!

Useful Links:
Heavens-Above Starcharts for anywhere, anytime, no installation required
Stellarium Free planetarium-style program for your computer or tablet
7Timer – Clear sky charts (will it be clear enough for stargazing?). Input your location, then click on “ASTRO” in the pop-up.
Monthly Sky Guides from Sydney Observatory

End of podcast:

365 Days of Astronomy
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The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is produced by NUCLIO. Audio post-production by Richard Drumm. Bandwidth donated by libsyn.com and wizzard media. You may reproduce and distribute this audio for non-commercial purposes. Please consider supporting the podcast with a few dollars (or Euros!). Visit us on the web at 365DaysOfAstronomy.org or email us at info@365DaysOfAstronomy.org. This year we celebrate cosmic light as light is our info messenger in the universe. Join us and share your story to celebrate the International Year of Light. Until tomorrow! Goodbye!

About Alice Enevoldsen

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